Friday, August 18, 2017

[Review] All the Ways the World Can End by Abby Sher

All the Ways the World Can End by Abby Sher
Rating: 2.5 stars

Format: ARC Paperback
Published: July 11th 2017

Goodreads Synopsis: 

Lenny (short for Eleanor) feels like the world is about to end. Her best friend is moving to New York City to attend Julliard and her dad has terminal cancer. To cope with her stress Lenny is making a list of all the ways the world can end—designer pathogens, blood moon prophecies, alien invasion—and stockpiling supplies in a bunker in the backyard. Then she starts to develop feelings for her dad's very nice young doctor—and she thinks he may have feelings for her too. Spoiler alert: he doesn't. But a more age-appropriate love interest might. In a time of complete uncertainty, one thing's for sure: Lenny's about to see how everything is ending and beginning. All at the same time.

5th read for #ARCAugust

I'm a bit conflicted on the rating of this book, to be honest.

I understood it well enough. Eleanor, who is better known as Lenny, and her family are trying to cope with her dad's metastatic rectal cancer that he's slowly dying from. Her mom, who is nicknamed Sergeant Nutbags, tries her hardest to find a cure, and that often comes in the form of some insane diet or health video. Her older sister is away at college and seem to escape the stressors that come from her family to enjoy her college party life. Lenny is the frustrated one, and her method of venting is through anger. She also has a crush on her father's stand-in resident doctor, Dr. Ganesh.

I got Lenny's anger and mood shifts to an extent. She's trying her hardest to cope with the situation and sometimes it doesn't work out. She's not an entirely likable character - to be frank, at times she annoyed me. But understanding what is going on made me sympathize with her a bit.

However, I did not sympathize with her at all with the whole one-sided romantic subplot involving Dr. Ganesh. What the hell was that? I felt so awkward reading that train-wreck. I had to physically put the book down every time I read something with them. She didn't think about the consequences of her actions at all when she sent him those photos, visited him in his office, and kissed him. There is a approx. thirteen year age difference and she's a minor. Like I would get the whole starstruck crush on celebrities (and yes, doctors can fall under here), but she took it too far.

And to top it all off, there were no repercussions for her? Even when she broke the glass door of The Unicorn she didn't get in trouble? Dr. Ganesh was a legal issue, guys. The Unicorn probably would have banned her. Her mom just said this was "Okay"? No grounding, no punishment, nothing?

Coming from a family with strict but reasonable parents, I just don't understand this at all.

Luckily it didn't take up the whole of this book, but to be fair it was a good portion of it. There's also the minor subplot of her best friend Julian moving away to California and leaving her. It kind of gets resolved and swept under the rug rather quickly, without much of her so-called best friend in the rest of the book.

If I rated this book on the context of Lenny's personality and selfish actions alone, that wouldn't be much of a rating. The medical parts were pretty interesting (considering who I am). There are also some medical ethics that were touched briefly on. Oh, and all the ways the world can die that were between the chapters. That was pretty cool. The final chapter of the book was the most emotional and poignant, with her and her dad by the beach mulling over life.

Given that, I wouldn't say it was an okay book, but an understandable one at best. If the romance portion was cut out, I would have been so much more okay with it, and less frustrated.

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